On Tuesday, 28 June 2022, Tashkent hosted the First Forum of Central Asian Ombudsmen dedicated to cooperation in ensuring human rights and freedoms, Uzbek news agency Dunyo reported.
The meeting, organized by the Office of the Commissioner of the Oliy Majlis for Human Rights (Ombudsman) under the Government of Uzbekistan with the assistance of USAID, highlighted the development of international cooperation of authorized representatives for human rights of Central Asian countries, a regional discussion on topical human rights issues and consolidation of efforts and opportunities in this area.
The forum gathered the Ombudsmen of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, representatives of international organizations – UNDP, USAID, UNICEF, the Regional Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) for Central Asia, UNODC, as well as the OSCE Project Coordinator in Uzbekistan, the Regional Program Manager of the International Prison Reform (PRI) in Central Asia, representatives of civil society institutions and the media.
Three sessions of the forum raised such issues as the protection and promotion of women, children, disabled persons, the importance of using digital technologies, ensuring the rights of imprisoned persons.
As a result of the forum, the Tashkent Declaration was adopted. The document reaffirms the commitment of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan to protect human rights, take measures to prevent torture, and raise the legal awareness of human rights for the region’s citizens.
Bilateral MoUs were also signed between the Ombudsmen of the Central Asian countries.
It was decided that the Forum will be held annually in the countries of Central Asia. ///nCa, 28 June 2022